Monday, August 14, 2006


Best Blog Tips I haven't blogged for over a week! Summer kinda got away with me (not to mention a whole passle of little grandaughters!). Nothing earthshaking today, but I wanted to show you this yummy soy cappuccino (made with homemade soymilk) with chocolate shavings that made a great Continental-style breakfast with the following (partly wholewheat) bread:

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Sourdough Olive Oil Bread


I know, it's summer-- who bakes bread? Well, I had some extra fresh sourdough starter that I wanted to use-- exactly enough for this loaf. And I got a new stove and wanted to test out the oven. The recipe I used (see below) is actually a bread machine recipe I developed, but I just mixed and rose it in the machine, and baked it in the oven. It's delicious! (I developed several bread machine recipes using sourdough because I find most bread machine recipes kind of flat-tasting. Sourdough starter or an overnight yeast sponge both create a tastier bread, in my opinion.)

To bake it in the oven, I used the dough cycle, and then formed the dough into a ball on a greased and cornmeal-dusted pizza pan and let it rise for about 45 minutes, well-covered. I heated the oven (with convection) to 400 degrees F. I slashed the loaf with a razor blade and misted it with water before placing in the oven. NOTE: For an extra-crunchy crust and bigger holes in the crumb, you can bake this in a heavy covered pot, like a mini-brick-oven, if you like.  See instructions here.

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I baked it for about 10 minutes, sprayed it again, baked another 5 minutes, lowered the heat to 375 degrees F and baked about 15 minutes more. (Do the knock-on-the-bottom-and-listen-for-the-hollow-sound test.) Without convection, you should lower the heat about 25 degrees and cook a bit longer.

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The crust was nice and evenly-golden and crisp, and the inside moist, with a pronounced sourdough flavor, despite the yeast (the addition of yeast tempers the tangy sourdough flavor, but this bread has a goodly amount of fresh sourdough starter in it). Try to resist cutting it right away-- it actually finishes the cooking process at it cools.

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NOTE: If you are unfamiliar with sourdough, see  My San Francisco starter, how to make it vegan and how to use and care for it is at that link.  I actually have two vegan sourdough starters-- both are very reliable. I also use the "Oregon Trail Sourdough Starter", which I treat the same way. You can get a free (dried) starter (and it's a great story that goes with it!) here. You just pay postage(PS: I don't use the sugar and potato they call for in the instructions., and it works fine.)

If you would like a longer version of all this info, with recipes, write to me via my contact page.

Printable Recipe

Makes a 1 1/4 lb. loaf

A pretty fast recipe made with sourdough starter and yeast.

1 1/2 c. fresh sourdough starter (less than 2 weeks old if stored in the refrigerator) (See Note above)
1 T. water (hot if the starter is cold)
3 T. olive oil
1/2 T. salt
2 tsp. sugar
1 cup wholewheat flour (or wholewheat bread flour in the USA-- Canadian flour is higher in gluten)
1/2 cup unbleached white flour (or white bread flour in the USA)
1/4 c. bran
1 tsp. dry active baking yeast or 3/4 tsp. instant yeast

Mix the ingredients in your bread machine according to the directions for your machine. Use the French or Crusty Bread cycle according to your machine’s directions.

Check the dough during the first knead to make sure that it is neither too dry, not too wet. If it’s too dry, add water by the tablespoonful, letting it knead in, until it looks right. If it’s too wet, do the same with flour. This should be a moist dough, but it should come together in a ball.

See instructions above for how to bake the bread in the oven.

If you want a more attractive top crust to the ABM bread, 5 minutes before the bread is due to bake (I set my kitchen timer to remind me of this), you can make a decorative slash in the top of the bread with a razor blade, and you can also glaze the bread with some soymilk, using a pastry brush, or sprinkle the top with flour.

Cover the “window” in the top of your machine with foil, so that the top of the bread will brown properly. Remove the bread immediately from the machine when done, placing on a rack to cool thoroughly. This will insure a crisp crust.

Photo of the bread machine version:

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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


KleoPatra said...

Mmmmmmmmmmmm. FRESH BAKED BREAD! So good! Thanks for the sweeeeeeet recipe.

"Lose the tooth, Keep the Faith."

Groovy photo of your granddaughter. Very sweet girl, you can tell!

Harmonia said...

Great "missing teeth" pic! The Breads look neat, too!

Sorry it has taken me a while but I wanted to let you know that I have moved my blog! Yup! A new addy! It's - swing by and check it out when you have time. My old one will still be active for the daily OM and blogroll. Hope to see you soon!

Dori said...

Love the bread, but I want to see the new oven. :)

Faith is beautiful, esp with a half grown in tooth. I miss the stage of missing teeth, I miss everything about my babies being children. My son turns 18 tommorrow.

2000 year old jesuit said...

Who bakes bread in summer? Me, too. I found this awesome book on flatbreads by Alford + Duguid in my library, trying lots of them. Found the book by Reinhart you recommended, trying them. Also the Italian Baker, you recommended. Thanks bud. Bread kicks butt. I'm actually not 2000, but 32, and my teeth have been missing on and off since I knocked them out when I was 10.Right now I look similar to the girl, but not as adorable.

Spice Island Vegan said...

Wow! Bread looking good! Granddaughter is cute!

Did you buy a fancy oven?

I haven't baked bread for a long long time. It's too hot but yours looks so good. It may inspire me.


Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

No fancy oven, but a new Kenmore stove, all computerized, self-cleaning convection oven, covered bottom element, all kinds of timer settings, etc. It has one oven rack that you can remove half of it to accomodate a tall pan or pot without wasting the room on the other side! I discovered that my old oven was way too hot, so I have to figure out how to bake in the new one!

Melody said...

Your granddaughter is adorable... Love that age... they are soo cute.

What type of bread machine do you use? I've never seen a loaf of bread look that good out of a machine!

I bake bread several times a week, all year round.. I use my toaster oven. Yesterday my loaf rose too high and the top caught on fire! I managed to salvage it though.

I'm going to email you about the starter. I've never made my own and really want to start.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

I have an Oster 2-lb. Expressbake Bread Machine-- cheap, but it works well.

Jackie said...

The bread looks really wonderful so I have emailed you for the vegan starter.

Thank you in advance Bryanna :)

2000 year old Jesuit said...

Pardono Signora, you didn't recommend The Italian Baker, it was Galli's Il Fornaio book. Scuzi, scuzi. If I leave any more comments I'll try to get them right. I cooked up the Buffalo Chicken from the Archive's yesterday.Holy Hapsburgs, they were good. Probably half my fridge is full of your creations. I'll spare you the details, but I loves 'em.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

2000-yr-old-- I love "The Italian Baker" too!

Kate said...

I want to buy a kitchen aid mixer just for this bread. Time to start saving up. But seriously love the blog, keep it up!

Spice Island Vegan said...


I recommend Bosch mixer instead of a Kitchen Aid. I have a Kitchen Aid the Professional one and aiming of Bosch myself. I wish I have a Bosch. It is expensive but will be worth it if you like to bake bread. We have a discussion about mixers in Bryanna's forum.


Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Kate, I also recommend the Bosch above the KitchenAid, having used both. Check out the "recommended cookware" page on my website. The Bosch motor is far stronger, the machine itslef, however, is less bulky and lighter, and it will do twice as much dough with ease. One of my subscribers tried to do 2 loaves of wholewheat bread in her new KitchenAid, but had to take it back when the motor started smoking! She got a Bosch! I also find that the KA leaves bits of dry dough on the bottom and you have to stop it and mix them in. This never hapens with the Bosch. It's also easier to add ingredients while kneading with the bosch.

Anonymous said...

Wow! The bread looks heavenly. I can't wait to make some.

tokyovegan said...

Hi, Bryanna. Now that I have sourdough starter to keep active, I am finally working through all your bread recipes! I made this today for the first time, and we ate with a garlicky Italian tomato salad. Couldn't barely stop ourselves from eating the whole was such a heavenly feast.
Many thanks,

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

So glad you liked it, William!